Hiked Bondclif, Bond, West Bond and Zealand on 11/8/2014. These were peaks 517, 518, 519, and 520 for “The Grid over 60”. The weather forecast for the day was pretty good for this long hike and turned out better than predicted, temps in the 20’s, low winds and close to 100 mile visibilty with bright blue skies. Hiked with Bill Cronin, Mike Lynch was supposed to join us but couldn’t make it over Kancamaugus Pass due to icy road conditions. We started at 6:15 AM and made it to the bridge over Franconia Brook in about 50 minutes.
We crossed the bridge and started up the Bondcliff Trail. We stopped at the bottom of Hilary’s Step to have a PBJ as it sounded too windy to stop and eat on the summit of Bondcliff. Turned out we were wrong as it wasn’t windy but it felt good to eat.
We stopped on Bondcliff for a few minutes to take pictures and measure the wind. It was pretty calm and gusted to 18MPH with a temperature of 19.
We then continued along to climb up to the summit of Bond where the conditions were about the same.
We continued along the Bondcliff Trail until we got the the spur trail over to West Bond.
Back at the junction with the Bondcliff trail we ate half of a PBJ to keep our energy up.
Continued along the Bondcliff trail until we got to Guyot which is a 4K peak but doesn’t count as it doesn’t have enough elevation gain from the low spot with West Bond.
Turned on the Twinway and headed for Zealand, kind of a hard section of trail as there are large rocks to navigate around and we had 3-5 inches of new snow covering up the holes and roots and ice.
Made our way over to Zeacliff where someone had made a snowman.
We made the steep descent to Zealand Hut and got there just before it got dark enough to need headlamps. We went in and finished our PBJs and got our headlamps on and did the last 2.5 miles out to the parking lot. The entire trip was around 19.5 miles and took us 12 hours and 10 minutes. It was a long and tiring day.
Only 56 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.